Wednesday, September 30, 2009

european insprired prints

recently i feel like there are cute fabrics inspired by european/retro designs everywhere here in japan...and i love it!
this print, with the big matroyshkas, would make a great simple stuffed doll project...
and here's a few more in blues and greens. they've all been added to my shop!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

felting for baby

this book is one of the newest additions to the makegoodbooks craft + life series, which provides english versions of japanese craft books! by saori yamazaki, felting for baby is the english version of the japanese 'small articles made of wool felt for baby,' with the same sweet projects.

usually japanese craft books are quite easy to follow even without being able to read the text, but the english version will be especially useful for beginning felters. this book covers several basic methods and feltmaking techniques (both wet and needle felting, making felt balls as well as felting around a resist), and these processes are explained clearly with step by step english instructions along with photos. so not only are the projects cute (of course!) but this book would be a great resource for a beginning felter, or someone who wanted to try some intermediate projects.

oh, and there are a few free downloads from the book available on the makegoodbooks website too!

Monday, September 28, 2009

fair trade felt from satch and sol

satch and sol partners with fair trade artisan cooperatives, including mongolian felt makers to create an absolutely gorgeous collection of handmade felt mittens, slippers, and more. you can see it all in their shop. via soulemama.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

sashiko pillow project at the purl bee

as always, the purl bee has the most gorgeous projects, including this contemporary take on sashiko.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


...mean's 'i'm back' in japanese. this is actually a photo of the chicago skyline through the clouds while the plane was landing.

on one of the many flights i was on in the last 2 months, they let me sit in this section. that was when i was still on crutches, so i think they just took pity on me. it was grand.

i have a lot to catch up on now that i'm back in japan (including sleep; hopefully i will stop waking up at 3 am soon...) but one of the fun things i have planned for today is to visit a bookstore (like this one, showing yarn by avril right there on the shelves with the books) and check out all the new japanese craft books out for fall! and then perhaps a nap.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

homemade fruit crisp

while i was at my mom's house last week, enjoying a late summer garden bounty, i made some apple-plum crisp. i started out loosely following this recipe for spiced apple crisp, from epicurious...
but i couldn't resist adding some of these plums.

i also added a cup of oat flakes, and some chopped pecans, and some cinnamon and a pinch of salt to the topping.
fruit cooking...

my adjustments made for a lot of topping, which i mixed in just a bit.

this adorable illustration is from julia rothman's guest post on design*sponge, where she shares this blackberry pie recipe from the cookbook she illustrated.

and for canning advice, check out make it do for how to can peaches. via craft.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

fabric covered canvas tote by betz white

queen of green crafting, betz white has come up with this simple and brilliant project: covering a canvas tote bag with the fabric of your choice. so easy you're sure to say 'why didn't i think of that!?' her tutorial shows all the steps. i can't wait to try this with some cute japanese prints in a few weeks when i get back to japan.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

felt furnishings project from how-tuesday

this is a detail from the project on the cover of this book:
felt furnishings by anne kyyro quinn.

i actually saw the work of anne kyyro quinn for the first time last year when i wondered by her showroom in london completely randomly. her work is beautiful, and her use of felt to create patterns and texture is quite stunning.

anyway, this week in etsy's the stork series how-tuesday, there are step by step directions for how to make this pillow yourself!

here's a book review from zakka life, and another review at peacock chic.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

pack a lunch

have you noticed all the wonderful reusable lunch bag projects popping up on crafty blogs recently? this one (above) is the adorable embroidered lunch bag from the purl bee, with great step by step instructions as always.

today on whip-up, there's also a round up of other lunch bag tutorials.

i am curious to try this oilcloth version, from skip to my lou.

and along similar lines, this tyvek one from sternlab, via craft.

i'm feeling the urge to sew more, and looking forward to being back in japan in a few weeks, thinking about sewing projects i want to to try...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

more brilliance from bookhou, and repeat studio

i saw these gorgeous new items from bookhou on bloesem, and was reminded about how i love everything they make and do. and that somehow i hadn't noticed their lovely blog.
AND then i discovered that arounna khounnoraj of bookhou is collaborating with roisin fagan of bespoke uprising to create hand printed textiles as repeat studio. just lovely.

here's another sweet item from bespoke uprising, available from her etsy shop.

i'm spending a few weeks at my mom's house in rural wisconsin, and while these farm themed prints are distinctively canadian, fields and canning jars are the same in the late summer countryside everywhere.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

free kokeshi stuffie pattern

the nice ladies at melly & me are giving away this pattern as a free download! via whip up.